I got a scan of a newspaper article from someone today which was written by Alan Gura, who as was the lead counsel in Parker v. District of Columbia, the case which has overturned DC’s ban on firearms. When he’s not helping to win landmark cases like this, he apparently writes a column. So what would someone usually working so diligently in protecting our constitutional rights be doing which would be of particular interest to BVBL readers? He’s writing about Faisal Gill, and doing one hell of a job.
Attention citizens! Asim Ghafoor has something to say that all voters should read:
“We are here not just to be nice to people … but to bring … Islamic ways to this country. We’re going to make sure, those of us Muslims who are involved in politics, that our Muslim leaders who join the mainstream will uphold those principles … you should rule by Islam … when you’re in a position of power, when you’re ruling … in a position of secular power, you are commanded by Allah to rule according to Islam.” (from an interview conducted by Itrath Syed for RadioIslam.com on Muslims participating in the political process in North America)
On election day, remember these words if called on to consider Ghafoor’s longtime business partner and fellow Islamic activist Faisal Gill — Republican candidate for the House of Delegates in Prince William County.
Will Gill “bring Islamic ways to this country?” Is he “commanded by Allah to rule according to Islam”? I’ll report. You decide.
On the surface, Gill is about what one would expect from a GOP candidate. Conservative on all big issues, lawyer, Navy JAG Corps. Gill even has the requisite Washingtonesque government job history, a former director of intelligence policy for the Department of Homeland Security’s Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection directorate. Surely a man with extremist affiliations would not hold such a sensitive job?
That’s the question two U. S. Senators asked of Homeland Security after Gill was suspended from work. Just like his campaign Web site, Gill’s background check application for DHS neglected to mention his past as spokesman and lobbyist for the American Muslim Council (AMC), a radical organization founded and, during Gill’s tenure, according to government officials, controlled by convicted terrorist financier Abdurahman Alamoudi.
Alamoudi had made a name for himself leading rallies for Hamas and Hezbollah. A suitcase full of cash from Libya eventually earned Alamoudi his current 23-year jail sentence.
By the time Gill started working for AMC in 2001, the radical nature of the group, and it’s leader Alamoudi, were public knowledge. The Wall Street Journal ran an expose of Alamoudi as early as March 13, 1996.
Nine months later, at a meeting of the Islamic Association of Palestine, a Hamas front organization, Alamoudi publicly stated, “Muslims sooner or later will be the moral leadership of America … either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years, but this country will become a Muslim country. If we are outside this country, we can say, oh, Allah, destroy America. But once we are here, our mission in this country is to change it. There is no way for Muslims to be violent in America, no way. We have other means to do it. You can be violent anywhere else but America.”
One place where Gill’s boss believed violence to be appropriate was Buenos Aires. A wiretap caught Alamoudi extolling the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in the Argentine capital, a murder of 85 innocent people: “The jewish community center. It is a worthy operation … the attacks that are being executed by bin Laden and other Islamic groups are wrong, especially hitting the civilian targets. Many African Muslims have died and not a single American died. I prefer to hit a Zionist target in America or Europe. I prefer honestly like what happened in Argentina.”
So what exactly did Gill do for Alamoudi’s AMC? On a resume, Gill described his work in 2001 this way: “Acted as spokesperson for several Muslim groups on 9/11 … Developed post 9/11 public relations and lobbying strategies for Muslim groups on dealing with Congress and the Administration.” Very well, Mr. Spokesperson. After 9/11, AMC’s web site contained the following language:
“The Law Says You Don’t Have To Talk to the FBI: The FBI is looking for information to use against you, your family and/or your community. The FBI has a history of harassing and harming minority and immigrant communities. Some people are spending a long time in jail because they or their friends talked to the FBI … FBI agents are trained to get you to make incomplete or contradictory statements — which later can be used against you in court. It is better to say nothing.”
Even if Gill did not actually write these words for AMC’s Web site, was Gill not at least aware that he was the public face of a group urging Muslims not to cooperate with the FBI investigation of 9/11?
There is at least some record of Gill’s words with respect to his “lobbying strategies” at the White House. On June 28, 2001, on AMC’s behalf, Gill participated in a White House meeting of Muslim groups with the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives when the Secret Service asked a member of the group to leave.
Apparently, the security clearance of Abdullah Al-Arian, son of now-convicted terrorist frontman Sami Al-Arian, had failed. In a show of unity, Gill and his associates walked out on the White House. Said Gill, “at that point everybody said we were all going to leave if Abdullah had to leave, so we did.”
Gill’s insensitivity to Secret Service concerns about his friend Al-Arian were not out of step for AMC. His AMC boss, Alamoudi, had declared in 2000 to the Arab language paper al-Zaitonah, “[AMC’s] position with regard to the peace process is well known. We are the ones who went to the White House and defended what is called Hamas.” Did Gill continue to defend Hamas when it became his job to represent AMC to the White House?
Gill was eventually cleared by DHS in relation to his background disclosures. He did not list AMC in his employment history because he was technically outsourced to the organization under the auspices of his direct employer at the time, AG Consulting. That’s AG as in Asim Ghafoor, who isn’t here “to be nice”, but to “bring Islamic ways to this country.”
The senators who inquired about Gill’s tenure at DHS were also concerned with Gill’s Ghafoor connection. As noted by the senators, Ghafoor worked for numerous organizations and individuals declared by the U. S. government to be “involved in, or suspected of supporting, terrorism.”
Ghafoor, now Gill’s law partner, has quite a practice representing accused terrorists. We must remember that accusation by the government does not equal guilt, and even terrorists deserve legal representation. Lawyers who step up to represent unpopular defendants deserve praise for helping our system function.
But Ghafoor’s history as spokesperson for groups tied to terrorism is a different matter, especially in light of his radical public advocacy. And Ghafoor’s litigation conduct in itself is not without controversy. Ghafoor is suing the government for $1 million, because his phone calls with Soliman al-Batahai, a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” were tapped.
How in the world does a character like Faisal Gill become a serious candidate for office? Hint: It rhymes with “honey”, and lots of it.
The article doesn’t appear online, and I’m not sure where it was published or when, but work like this needs to be made available to the voters who are considering whether to nominate Faisal Gill at the June 2nd convention. It’s a tremendous summary of some of the major concerns that many share about Faisal Gill’s candidacy.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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